Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Early Graduation on the Rise

According to the New York Times, in 2011 eight states will begin offering the option of graduating after sophomore year for high school students who seek to enter community colleges, associate degree programs, and career education. This plan, which has been discussed in the education world but not enough in the media, is being promoted by the National Center on Education and the Economy, and was a key component of the study Tough Choices, Tough Times that circulated several years ago.

Starting next fall, students in Connecticut, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont will be allowed to "test out" of the remaining two years of high school. Students who qualify will be allowed to enroll in associates degree programs or technical schools. This is an idea that is long overdue, and one that I wish was the norm, as opposed to an experiment in a few states that will try to encourage some of their high schools to join. This very idea is the benchmark of countries such as Singapore, Finland, Germany, and practically every other foreign school system that are so adored by politicians and critics of American education.

What has taken so long? And how long before this becomes the norm?

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